AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
Union Bank sponsored Adopt-a-Clinic improves health in South Los Angeles
Residents in South Los Angeles have a high prevalence of uncontrolled blood pressure, a contributing factor to major health conditions including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure, among others. A Union Bank sponsored collaboration between the American Heart Association (AHA) and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, a community clinic, recently launched a self-monitoring blood pressure (SMBP) program to improve high blood pressure management and prevent chronic illness.
Under this collaboration, part of a larger one to address high blood pressure as a health disparity in communities of color, the goal was to provide evidence-based treatment, increase awareness, increase screenings, and provide tailored health education in South Los Angeles.
Starting spring 2022, St. John’s patients who were identified as ideal candidates received a free blood pressure monitor, educational materials, and training, all sponsored by Union Bank. As part of the self-measured blood pressure program (SMBP) patients were encouraged to partner with their medical provider to address any obstacles to adhere to the treatment, implement a plan to measure their blood pressure at home, and report their self-measured blood pressure logs to their health care team.
“I think remote blood pressure monitoring is a good idea because a lot of our patients don’t know how to measure their own blood pressure and we are now able to teach them,” said Bukola Olusanya, Family Nurse Practitioner at St. John’s.
St. John’s staff also received training on an AHA quality improvement program to increase BP control rates among their patient population, as well as trainings on how to measure correctly. Accurately assessing blood pressure both at health centers and at home is important because small inaccuracies can have consequences for patients, and significant numbers of patients have different blood pressures in the office compared to when they are at home.
To consistently obtain accurate blood pressure measurements, the center has made sure that their protocol includes confirmatory repeat in-office BP measurements, that all BP measurement devices are calibrated according to manufacturer recommendation for accuracy, and that high-risk patients are referred to home blood pressure monitoring with adequate devices.
A successful combo of accurate measurements, the use of validated blood pressure devices, and self-measured blood pressure has helped St. John’s prevent, diagnose, and manage hypertension in their service area and improve the cardiovascular health of their patients.
Article provided by the American Heart Association
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